Parasite (2019)

parasite poster 2019 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking, strong story, good cast


Movie Info

Movie Name: Parasite

Studio:  Barunson E&A

Genre(s): Drama/Comedy/Suspense/Mystery

Release Date(s):  May 21, 2019 (Cannes)/May 30, 2019 (South Korea)

MPAA Rating: R

parasite kim family cast

Fake it ’til you make it

Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) has just scored his big break.  His friend Min-hyuk (Park Seo-joon) has gifted him his tutoring job with Da-hye (Jeong Ji-so) as he does international studies.  This is the in that Ki-woo and his family have been looking for.  With his father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), his mother Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin), and his sister Ki-jeong (Park So-dam), they plan to fleece the wealthy Dong-ik (Lee Sun-kyun), his wife Yeon-gyo (Cho Yeo-jeong), and their children…but getting into the home of the Park family could be the easy part.  The Kim family discovers keeping their high paying jobs could come at a price.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho (who also helped script it with Han Jin-won), Parasite (기생충 or 寄生蟲 or Gisaengchung) is a comedy-drama thriller.  The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and was well received by critics with a strong theatrical showing for an international film.  The film received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Film with nominations for Best Production Design and Best Film Editing.

parasite park family


I’ve liked a lot of Bong Joon-ho’s stuff.  I’ve watched him since The Host and find that both his style and storytelling is unique and skilled.  Although I’ve found him good through the years, he continues to hone his craft and present unique stories that not only entertain but provoke thought.

The story of Parasite plays in a lot of direction.  It is a comedy with great timing and presentation of the story.  The characters weasel their way into these position through clever planning and actions, and they always seem one step ahead of the Park family.  The movie transforms into a suspense movie with a shocking discovery about the Parks’ home and then a thriller as the Kim family tries to deal with their discovery.  Through the course of the story, a real discussion on class and the role of “servants” develops which makes you question which side to root for…leading to a tragic ending.

parasite basement man respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T…find out what it means to me!

The cast is great.  I have liked Song Kang-ho and his performances for a while and despite feeling completely perfect for The Host, he shows tons and tons of variety and range in his roles.  In general, I like the whole Kim family who schemes and plots for upward momentum which can only be achieved through scheming and plotting.  The Park family seems less developed in that sense (in many ways, they are the heavies or even villains by the end because of their indifference), but I do like the scatterbrained Cho Yeo-jeong and the daughter Jeong Ji-so who knows more than she says.

The visuals for the film are great.  You have a great contrast between the rich-rich of South Korea and the poor-poor of South Korea.  The luxury of a house that is clean and pristine contrasted with a basement home with waste overflowing from the toilet during floods.  It is a shocking contrast that is felt by many people and with the middle class shrinking, it will be felt by even more.  Bong Joon-ho also is a king at violence so the last bloody sequences of the film mesh well with the story presented before.

parasite ki taek indian costume song kang ho

What is your breaking point?

Parasite isn’t for everyone because it requires a lot of thought and thinking…something that many audiences won’t do.  The story while simple on appearance has a lot of questions raised and forces a lot of sensitive issues (is it wrong to claw and scratch your way to the top if it hurts others?), but it does in a way that has you feeling sympathy for “the bad guys” (in the vein of The Talented Mr. Ripley).  The film could easily have been called Cannibals because it features the lower class cannibalizing each other in this dream (and myth) of upward mobility.  The Kims aren’t able to manipulate themselves into the Parks’ home because they are smart and clever, but because the bottom line is, that the Parks see them as being beneath them (literally and figuratively).  They don’t care where their servants come from or go when they leave…as long as it isn’t a inconvenience to them.  It creates this if we pay you, we own you belief that is one step above slavery.  Parasite is a great film and leaves me wanting to see what Boon Joon-ho does next.

Related Links:

The 92nd Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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